I personally was intrigued by an Arabian Nights theme, but then I grew to love these characters. The story is very original, drawing from the 1001 Nights without following it directly. Aladdin is an adorable character who is quite easy to laugh at, along with Alibaba. As the story progesses, more characters are introduced, making the interactions better, and much much funnier.
Magi is a superpower/adventure show, loosely based on the anthology of the Arabian fairy tales A Thousand and One Nights. It later on blends in elements from other cultures as well, so at least on a superficial level it has variety in its locations and backgrounds. The protagonists are Aladdin and Ali Baba (friends, not enemies), who are looking for fabled treasures inside magical caves full of traps and wonders. Yet their dungeon crawler adventures are soon halted by various bad guys who are out to torture people and make money.
- Animated by A-1 Pictures, a studio with very good production values and behind many famous anime. None of them are amazing though and they love to turn to silly fluff even the most serious and dark stories.
- Directed by Masunari Kouji, who has made several silly anime, most of which are enjoyable to the most part, but none are anything particularly great.
- Based on the manga by Ootaka Shinobu, who has also drawn and adapted Sumomomo Momomo. I don’t like her art style and her stories are too light and goofy for my taste.
It is an eye-catchy show with a lot of antithesis between cheery bright colors of fluffiness and dark depressing colors of agony and thriller. It doesn’t look particularly great for any given reason and even the songs are simply ok. It covers all the basics of a good teen adventure but rather waters it a lot more than it should with goofball comedy and light fan service.
A thing that Magi does very well is to have a sense of adventure, as every new place they go to has its own style and themes that need exploring and dealt with. It is indeed like those old fairy tales that was making your imagination go wild. A thing that doesn’t do so well is to be anything more significant past that. You see, it tries desperately to be many more than just that. It has high amounts of boob jokes, violence, and crazy villains who love to torture people for fun; thus expands to social commentary, morals, and even respecting the lives of those weaker than you. These themes are simply there, not really looked into past mentioning them and dealing with them in a black or white manner. Basically, the show has a very naive morality thrown amidst a setting that would normally require far more realism and grey handling. It’s like trying to solve world hunger with the power of friendship.
Speaking of power, there are dozens of magic items in the show that contain genies and other sorts of powerful forces that can be used in battle. Aladdin for example has a magic flute that summons a huge genie to aid them when they are in trouble, but he refrains from using it unless it is of grave importance since it feeds from Aladdin’s… stomach. Nice excuse to make the protagonist need of eating a lot for a change. In a similar fashion many other characters have such items that they use to achieve their goals.
A thing that will disappoint most is that the show ends prematurely. Although the anime went for an original ending, it still feels like it left out a lot of side stories and revelations. So in case you expect a long storyline that will end in a satisfying way… stop hoping.
So what goals and objectives does this show have anyway? Well, more or less every ambitious person in this world wants to get on his hands these magic items that he will use in order to become a powerful emperor, or to help his people. You have both selfishness and selfness at play, and they are presented in a most polarized manner. The bad guys are one dimensional assholes with no redeeming qualities and the good guys are saints who are already picture-perfect. That makes characterization to feel very shallow and in many cases irritating. You won’t believe how dumb everybody behaves or how many times I wanted to punch Aladdin in the teeth for acting like a 10 year old girl scout who wants to share rainbows and unicorns with everyone.
Not that he is as pure as he seems, since he and most others in this show are horny deviants who love to fondle breasts. And the camera never misses the chance to zoom on bare legs. It’s light fan service but it’s there all the time! I can’t say it adds anything to the context, since nobody seems to be “having any” out of screen. There is also a rather high amount of blood, torture, mention of rape, slavery, skeletons, and other creepy stuff to make the whole show to appear even darker.
Of course it is still light as heck, since as I said it is still black or white all the time and the characters turn to deformed blobs all the time for the sake of silly comedy. There is nothing you can’t magically fix if you have enough firepower on your side. It is very disappointing to see so many grim and serious situations to be solved just by Aladdin blowing his flute and summoning his genie to save the day and dance happily with everyone around the campfire. So the build up to every major conflict in this show may seem serious and dark but the resolve is always rushed, convenient, and always soooo cheery that seems completely out of place with everything else going on in the background.
As far as said build up goes, it is very good for such a type of a show. There are these empires, and those evil kings, and gangs of criminals, and they all look for a man to unite them all, and boobs, and spells cast by huge nipple-piercing genies. It is going to look brilliant in the eyes of 10 year olds, especially in our current years when most new shonen are total crap. So in a way this is like a bit darker Fairy Tail, but still immature and superficial. Although it can be a nice time waster thanks to its lively adventures and good production values, it just lacks something noteworthy to remember it for, and thus next to other titles such as Hunter X Hunter and Full Metal Alchemist, it is nothing but a “watch once and forget” type of anime.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 7/10
General Artwork 2/2 (looks like a fairy tale)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (fitting with the feeling of the series)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 3/10
Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 0/2 (open)
CHARACTER SECTION: 4/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 1/2 (way too good or way too evil)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 0/2 (none; the show is incomplete)
VALUE SECTION: 3/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of the simple plot)
Memorability 2/4 (I liked the setting and the themes but the presentation is weak)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 3/10
Art 1/1 (looks like a fairy tale)
Sound 0/2 (sounds meh)
Story 1/3 (feels epic but plays out childishly)
Characters 1/4 (way too good or way too evil)
Star Rating: 5 Stars
Overall Precise Rating: 9/10
If unique, almost previously unintroduced settings were ever an indication of a manga's potential, then it comes to no surprise that "Magi: The Labyrinth of Magic" is a success.
To be blunt, the main thing that's new about "Magi" compared to previous stories is that it takes place in an entirely middle-eastern themed world. But what else in addition flows nicer with all this, then the elements of magic. Yes, "Magi" is about magic. The story also focuses on a mix of treasure, justice, slavery, political issues and freedom.
Before I go into detail with the Anime, I'll start by mentioning the manga. I've been reading it over a year prior to anime being released in late 2012. Although I haven't finished it, I was very pleased with the plot and grew hopeful that eventually, the creators would develop an anime.
When I gave the anime a shot, I almost immediately noticed that things were more summarised then I expected. True, this does happen with anime, but I was a tad displeased. Nevertheless, as I kept watching it, I found myself increasingly immersed as I was able to understand the characters better than ever before.
More onto all this below.
All living beings possess a sort of magical essence called "Rukh", and when people die, the Rukh returns to a huge flow of Rukh that gives life to all subsequent beings.
Magicians can manipulate the Rukh in their bodies to create "Magoi" - magical energy that lets them use magic. At the top of the magic hierarchy is a rare class of magicians called the titular "Magi" (litreally pronounced Ma-gi, NOT Ma-ji or Mei-Ji), who can manipulate Rukh from around them as well as in themselves. Magi are also tasked with choosing dungeon caputurers to offer guidance in making them king/queen candidates.
Most of the action comes from the "Dungeons", which are magic castle-like structures filled with dangerous traps, both magical and non-magical. Those who overcome the obstacles and reach the treasure, succeed in conquering the dungeon and allying with it's respective magical demi-god, a "Djinn".
Besides dungeon capturing, Magi focuses on the noticeable cast making a stand to put an end to the slavery and evil that threatens the innocent but the weak and poor. It all becomes possible from the moment that Aladdin, Alibaba and Morgiana meet.
At the start, Aladdin is a friendly, curious yet very level-headed young boy who desires to learn more about himself and about Magi and about magic. Alibaba's a young man who dreams on conquering every dungeon to become super rich, and Morgiana's a slave with superhuman strength, being seemingly Alibaba's age. But as I said, this is only the start. Shortly after is when we realise more about these three and their backstories. They also start working together to save others. This shows that Magic is an anime that has a good sense of adventure.
The main downfall with the storyline is unfortunately, the ending. It was too rushed in my opinion, and I'm convinced that there were bits missing that the manga had. Not to mention, there were several side stories which I felt were left out. Finally, I couldn't help but pick out several plot holes from a few episodes.
Lets just hope that the next Magi anime series (which will start in late 2013) will make up for it.
I'm not entirely sure why I haven't given this a perfect score. :S It most certainly does fit the show, I find it awesome to see some colourful members of the cast in a middle-eastern anime. And better yet, there are darker themes that stops Magi from being too "cuddly" and non-serious. There's a fair amount of blood, tortue and mentions of rape. (especially when we look into the slavery aspects) There is some other creepy stuff too as a result of magic... :S
I can't really say anything about this section. :S But I do know for a fact that the voice acting and music themes suit the show. I usually skip the intros and outros because I'm inpatient at times, but rest assured, they aren't too corny or anything. :)
For once, I'll start by mentioning the downfall. What I didn't like was how the vast majority of the villains didn't have any redeeming qualities, whereas most of the good characters did.
Putting that aside, I am pretty pleased with the overall cast. Aladdin is a cool kid when you get to know him (even if he's not completly pure as you'd find out!), Alibaba may seem a little annoyingly indecisive a couple of times but he's a brave person with a kind heart. :) Morgiana is badass too - she has superhuman agility and strength.
There are other cool characters, like Sinbad, Jafar, Kassim (despite being a sort of villain but also one we can feel empathy for) and more. :3 Allow me to quickly add that Yamraiha is f*cking hot. :3 *drools*
Speaking of sex appeal, the camera also doesn't seem to miss any occasional opportunities for fan service. Sometimes you get young, beautiful, curvy women...and damn they're sexy. XD I get jealous of King Sinbad because he has his own big group of sari-dressed women. >_< I want my own dammit. You do get to see a fair amount of bare legs and breasts. :D
The big flaw with "Magi" was the rushed ending. Deep down, I wished that they would make the series last for at least 100 episodes, because I thought that seemed right. The good news is that as mentioned previously, there will be a sequel series. Lets hope that it'll be longer, deeper, and better overall.
Once again, lets shove that aside for now. I was again, finding myself enjoying every episode of the anime. The cast kick ass, and I'm most certainly happy to see something magical in a middle-eastern setting. It's unique to many themes I've witnessed before, save for a few minor exceptions.
Now at the top of this review you will see that I did not finish this anime, I watch 12 episodes and then the 25(last) one and then dropped. This is a 6, which means below my recommend standard. I would not recommend this anime. "was it really that horrible" you ask? No, the animations were gorgeous, there was just the right amount of fan service, and it was pretty funny too. "so why would you not recommend it"? allow me to explain in my usual report.
Story: this would have been an 8, the story is interesting and adventerous. HOWEVER, and if you have seen my other reviews then you know that I hate arc/prob of the day style animes. This one was in arcs, which isnt always bad, but usually and like in Magi, it weakened the end game of the anime. I have been reading on some forums and it seems like A-1 studios is really good at making anime look pretty, but doing their own Original Anime Ending, and messing up everything. Case and Point, Magi. 7 for decent, but arc style and not having a particularly strong ending.
Animation: was beautiful, 10, loved it
Sound: had a good number of soundtracks, and some pretty cool ones, voice actors were nice and solid and pretty convincing. 9
Characters: this got a little weird, I just watched Samurai 7 and the characters in that one got a bit weird too, in very much the same way. Sinbad ended up filling a spot that Alibab should have start to fill as he developed, and alladdin, acting or seeming like he didnt know that much, seemed to know more then he should for as ignorant as he sounded. Morgiana was ok, and I watched the last episode so a little spoiler on her character type SPOILER shes a tsudere, and by the end you can tell she loves alibaba END SPOILER
characters were kinda weird right in the middle though, and alibaba was being way too much of a pacifist to be interesting really, it was pissing me off. A good anime has a main character who has the balls, but also the wisdom to do what needs to be done. I was not getting that from Alibaba, I was getting that from Sinbad. which seemed way weird.
overall: the decent but not overbearing fan service, the amazing visuals, and the humor was what kept me in for so long. But due to the way the story ended up(and apparently it diverged from the manga) and the arc style gives it a 6 for me.
I only recommend watching if you are really hell bent on wasting some time for the lulz. in that case just enjoy the scenery the humor and the little bit of fanservicy stuff.
a general review on magi, up to all the current released episodes (18).
I really want to love this anime, but I can't. The characters are really cute, the animation is beautifully smooth, but I just can't like this anime. Being honest with myself here, the story is awful. I feel like the only reason I am still keeping up to this anime is because its animation is so bright and colorful and eye-pleasing to watch.
Oftentimes I find myself falling asleep while watching this anime. Its plot is extremely predictable and thus boring (although there are small twists sprinkled here and there). True, the plot is darker than it seems, but it just seems way too predictable to me. Plus, even though Ali Baba is hilarious, I find myself wanting to punch him in the face because he can't make decisions. Sure, that's how people are in real life, but I feel like the way that the producers decided to lay it out just isn't satisfying; I feel like that aspect of Ali Baba is forced...Somtimes he is breaking down, which feels quite annoying because it seems unnatural, and other times he looks like the most confident person ever......I just don't find his character convincing. Also, it bothers me how upbeat Aladdin is. I guess it's meant to be that way to be childish, but still, it feels quite cliche and unoriginal.
I am currently in the process of reading the manga and I find that the manga is MUCH more enjoyable than the anime. I hate to be saying this, but I find the anime overrated. It is probably that I prefer serious anime more, but if you are looking for something recent and GOOD, watch Shinsekai Yori.
Overall, watch Magi if you have nothing else to do and just want something easy to watch. Don't be expecting anything serious here. It's just lighthearted, childish fun.